My name is Mary Tiffee Jasso and I worked for CAL FIRE State of California) as a lookout at Likely Mountain, California. My co-worker Illa Garcia and I began to sicken as early as summer of 2001, but it never occurred to us to look at our job site. No one ever explained to us that all the antennas they were adding annually and the new cell tower by U.S. Cellular, which begin operation toward the end of 2001, that surrounded us were emitting harmful and toxic radiofrequency radiation. The lookout tower had been manned by State of California personnel since 1958 and no one said anything to us about site being dangerous to our health.
There were no warning signs, nor were warnings ever given to the lookouts or the Public, for that matter. State and Federal personnel that maintained the radio transmitters, antenna and other transmission equipment never said a word, although, looking back on it, we believe they knew the site was dangerous, as they rarely stayed for more than one hour at the Mountain. All we ever heard from them was they needed a part or it was lunch time, quitting time, etc.
It was during the fire season of 2002 that Illa and I began to suffer from low grade fever, nausea, eye pain, bone pain and muscle weakness. As the season progressed the symptoms worsened. We could not come up with a reason for our health problems as we both brought in bottled water and each one of us, brought our own food to the living quarters. We used bleach and disinfectants in our living quarters, but the nausea and diarrhea did not stop and the fever did not go away. A normal duty shift for a lookout averaged 84 continuous hours before the other lookout came on duty. We had to stay on site at all times when on duty.
Illa and I both ended up critically ill. My doctors thought I was dying from heart disease and stroke due to having paralysis on my left side and her doctors worried that she would go into organ failure if they couldn’t stop the weight loss Illa lost one third of her body weight in seven months ( radiation anorexia). We both found out months later that we also suffered eye scarring and microwave radiation cataracts.
Likely Mountain Lookout tower base. The lookout cab floor is at top of photo. Lookouts climb the stairway in between the microwave dishes to reach the cab.
Because Likely Mountain lookout area is isolated and miles away from any town, the lookouts were encouraged to bring their family members with them to work, which we often did and we have paid dearly for it. Spouses with cancer. Children and Grandchildren with brain damage, blood cell damage, tumors and other illnesses.
I was very ill by late 2002 and the doctors could not find out what was wrong with me, but the prognosis was not good. I had some paralysis on my left side and I couldn’t breath. It was a very hard time for me and for everyone in my family. In November 2003, I was desperate and decided to try and find someone that could help me. I went to the NORD (National Organization for Rare Diseases) website and entered a search for muscle diseases as I was so weak I needed help getting up and down from a chair and often used a walker around the house and a cane and family support when I had to go out for medical appointments. What I found at NORD was a list of symptoms for radiation sickness and I had many of the symptoms listed. I then entered a search for microwave dishes and was shocked to learn that the antennas that surrounded my lookout work site emitted radiofrequency radiation and electromagnetic fields that coupled to each other and to human bodies and had a predilection for water based organs.
I spent a few more days researching about antenna radiation and then notified my current supervisor Battalion Chief John Hughes, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Alturas, California, that I believed I had suffered injury at Likely Mountain, from radiation exposure and I needed to file a Workers’ Compensation Claim as I was no longer able to work. A few days later, I again called John in Alturas and asked for my co-worker Illa Garcia’s phone number. I was curious about the condition of her health.
Upon talking with Illa, I found out she had lost a third of her body weight and was down to 97 pounds. The doctors could not figure out what was wrong with her. She also was having many of the same symptoms that I was including weakness so severe she had to have help to get off the couch. I suggested she contact John and tell him about her illness and file for Workers Compensation, as she was too ill to work. Little did I know at the time, that we had just jumped into the raging fire of zealous State and Federal personnel that would go to any lengths to cover up what happened at Likely Mountain.
Illa and I had no clue at the time, that our families had also been affected. It would take many months of research and testing by two UCLA brain specialists and immunology tests to realize that our family had also suffered injury. By the time we discovered the terrible truth of what damage had been done to all of us, we realized there would be no help with the medical costs and loss of wages from those who were responsible at Likely Mountain. We would also find that the State of California and Federal agencies involved at Likely Mountain, along with the California Department of Justice and the California courts, allegedly, would do their best to circumvent and corrupt the entire process and do so by committing perjury, removing damaging testimony from a transcript, manufacturing and submitting false documents, removing pages from a certified deposition, and in general stomping on our Civil Rights and disgracing the name of all those who have died to preserve America’s freedoms.
In early November 2007 and two weeks after the other family members lost a summary judgment motion in Lassen County Superior Court, I received copies from State Insurance Fund, of the original field notes made by State engineer Michael Ensminger, for the State’s radiation level testing conducted at Likely Mountain in February 2005 and September 2006 and a statement made to the Court by State engineer Richard Williams. We immediately noticed there were discrepancies between the notes and the testimony submitted in both the WCAB Court and the Lassen County Superior Court. Upon further investigation we began to piece it together. The two engineers had allegedly, committed perjury and had manufactured false documents and had done so with the help of the State attorney for the California Department of Justice and the California Transportation Department, who were handling the case for the State.
Illa and I, desolate, angry and shocked by finding out the State entities involved in addition to the harm they had already done us, had allegedly, corrupted the judicial process, duped the Court and obstructed justice. We decided to see if we could get the Federal Courts to help us. We filed a Civil Rights suit against the State of California, naming the State entities and employees that we believed to be involved in the cover up at Likely Mountain, including Attorney General Jerry Brown. The State answered our summons with several defenses and summed it up for the Federal Court with this statement in its oppositions. “Even if fraud was committed, it is state business and not federal business.” Unfortunately, the State will probably get off on immunity as will the Forest Service and the Telephone companies involved. If it runs the course of cigarettes, it will probably take the deaths of a million or more children and adults, alike before our Legislators let go of the generous campaign donations they receive from telecommunication Lobbiests.
Mary Tiffee Jasso
July 12, 2008
Updated October 24, 2009.
In memory of
Benjamin Gordon Garcia (1954-2008),
who passed away
of cancer on
Ben spent time on
visiting his wife Illa
who worked at Likely Mountain as a lookout for the State of California.
Don’t forget to write or email your State and Federal Legislators and local TV stations and Newspapers
today! Tell them that this type of radiation is that is now flying freely through the air and your bodies
and your homes, is according to NASA, the same type of radiation as radioactive radiation, just
lower in intensity, and needs to be investigated. NOW not later! Also remind them that it needs to be
investigated by someone that cannot be influenced by the FCC or the Industry, as both have a huge
financial stake In WIFI services.